Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Bodden

“Set in the Deep South pre Gone with the Wind and the Civil War, The Wedding Gift is a story of slavery, abuse, passion and eventual freedom.” - Publisher

Wealthy plantation owner, Cornelius Allen has a reputation for being a good slave owner. When his daughter Clarissa marries, he decides to gift her a maid, Sarah. Sarah is also Cornelius’ daughter, borne from a long-term relationship with his slave Emmeline. Both girls have grown up together, but while Clarissa has enjoyed a life of ease and privilege, Sarah’s life has been one of hard work and slavery.

When Clarissa’s husband rejects his new wife, the two return to the family plantation. This leads to a chain of events that will change everything. 

This is an exciting and well-written book, which I enjoyed even more than The Help. The author is a lawyer with 20 years’ experience working with low wage immigrant workers. Her intimate knowledge of the history of slavery, both past and present, has resulted in a novel that has the realism of non-fiction. A recommended read.

Reviewed by Young at Heart Book Group

Catalogue Link: The Wedding Gift

About the Author: Marlen Bodden is a lawyer in New York City. She has more than two decades' experience representing poor people and low-wage and immigrant workers, many of whom are severely underpaid, if paid at all. Visit her website at: for the history behind The Wedding Gift in photographs, illustrations, maps, and a bibliography. 

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